January 26th, 2007
Imagine the scene. An online dating site calls in a PR company and explains they want to increase their customer base. They want to attract an upmarket clientele – but how to go about it?
Perhaps they might create a study for the press that convinces us what every man or woman wants is a sophisticated kind of date, which in turn might hopefully attract such people to an introduction agency.
It certainly seemed that was the reasoning behind a story in today’s papers which revealed the most desirable dates for women (in order) are men who are in the following professions:
- Doctors who work with children
- Environmental scientist
- Role in finance
- Company director
Apparently all these jobs act as a babe magnet.
Sorry, got a bit carried away with myself there but who thinks academics are babe magnets? Of course academics would like to be babe magnets but I’m sure I’m not overstepping the mark and speaking for my colleagues by saying that in most of their experience being an academic hasn’t exactly brought in tons of totty. And I don’t think it’s quite fair to claim that all doctors who work with children are automatically male, sexy and caring. In fact a lot of doctors who work with kids are women but this study appeared not to notice this.
Of course jobs like ‘academic’, ‘environmental scientist’, ‘journalist’ or ‘company director’ all imply a mysterious world of glamour, excitement, super intelligence and high-octane action. Rather than a world of long hours, backbiting, professional jealousy and tedium. Obviously if you’re a woman who doesn’t know anyone in these professions you may expect to meet someone interesting, wealthy and caring – rather than someone who’s knackered, often living on an unfairly low income (in the case of academics and often journalists) and probably hasn’t got much time for you since their job requires far more hours than they’re ever paid for.
Enough of my cynicism, let’s move on to what careers the study by dating agency ‘Drawing Down the Moon’ found men were attracted to in women. Again in order of preference these were:
- Human rights campaigner (also explained as someone like Angelina Jolie who works in fashion)
- Web designers
- Advertising directors.
No academics there? Ah well you can see through my sarcasm now can’t you – I’m just jealous that nobody fancies the female academic!
Not quite sure that if you did a national poll on most desirable careers for women the average straight guy would pick human rights campaigner, web designer or ad director as their top choice. A porn star that campaigned for human rights, yes, but your average activist? I don’t think so.
Interestingly for both lists journalists appear. It couldn’t possibly be that the company behind the study wanted press coverage could it? What better way to flatter your story into the papers than imply that journalists are all, what was it again? Ah yes, ‘babe magnets’.
At least we weren’t told this was a survey. Instead we were told the information came from 30000 dates the dating agency had arranged.
The underlying message is of course clear. Let’s convince the public there are some upmarket people out there we all should be dating and that our agency offers you the chance to meet such a person.
Ultimately a job doesn’t make you all that attractive. The person you are makes you worth being with. You could be any of the careers on that list and not be particularly socially skilled, attractive, caring or good at relationships.
However the story did what was needed and got plenty of press coverage and probably lots more custom.
And no doubt it made a lot of doctors, journalists, academics and human rights activists happy. After all they’re not usually described as pin ups, so maybe I should just let them have their moment of romantic glory.Tweet